Nut butter is a paste made from ground walnuts. Depending on the preparation method used, nut butter can be smooth and creamy, or thick, and is rich in all the nutrients common to nuts, including copper, essential fatty acids, and manganese. There are several ways to use nut butter, depending on personal taste. Many health food stores sell this nut butter, and it can also be found in some major markets. For people with strong blenders, nut butter can be made at home.
Nuts can be made into nut butter.
Like other nut butters, nut butter is made by grinding the nuts, causing them to release the oil and slowly mix into a very thick paste. In some cases, additional oil may be added to lubricate the nuts as they are ground, especially if the mill is a little weak, to ensure that the mill motor does not become strained. After grinding, the paste has a creamy texture, explaining the “butter” of the name.
Walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid.
Nut butter is a perishable food. Grinding exposes the oils to oxidation, increasing the rate at which the nuts go rancid. As a general rule of thumb, homemade nut butter should be stored refrigerated and used within a few months. Sealed walnut butter from the warehouse can be kept at room temperature, but once the seal is broken, it needs to go in the fridge. If the nut butter has a peculiar smell or taste, it is a sign that it has gone bad and should be discarded.
A common problem with nut butters is separation, in which solids settle to the bottom and fat rises to the top. One way to solve this problem is to simply invert the jar for storage and turn the jar right side up an hour or so before using, allowing the ingredients to mix while the oil tries to float to the top. Nut butter can also be stirred with a knife or spoon to reintegrate the ingredients.
Nut butter can be used in the same way that cooks would use peanut butters and other nuts. It can be spread on sandwiches and cookies, mixed into cookie dough, used as a layer on pecan cakes, and included in various rich sauces. Nut butter can be slightly bitter depending on the nuts used to prepare it, and it tends to be extremely rich, more so than peanut butter, which is something to keep in mind.